05 July 2009

Need an Answer

The book reading went well. The audience consisted of all family and friends so it was sort of a dress rehearsal, for which I was very grateful. I was much more stressed about the whole deal than I thought I would be and relieved when it was over. I had thought that it would be the start of my book-reading adventures, but that hasn't panned out. And really, at this point I am feeling very fed up with the whole thing.
Maybe it is because I first wrote Jaz about 10 years ago, and spent many years trying to get it published. And when that didn't come to be, I wrote the sequel. And when that got nowhere, I went on to other writing. In my mind, Jaz was no longer part of my being. But then I figured out that I could finally afford to self-publish and once more got excited with the prospects of finally getting a book in print. I spent hours and hours and months and months getting reacquainted with my characters, and proof reading for typos etc., (of which I am sure I did not get all), and then planning the cover, and finally hitting the send button on the final submission.
I had visualized my book in print for so many years that it seemed completely normal when my proof copy arrived, although I did scream and jump up and down. I wrote up a press release, got postcards printed, and started making the rounds both in cyberspace and in the real world.

I was greeted with such kindness and lots of 'congratulations' at all the bookstores I went to with my little press packets. I was told that my book was a definite seller by the buyer at a Barnes and Noble. (who could not carry it because it was self-published). I got the book trailer out and on several trailer sites. Every hour that I was not at work, (or looking for work, depending on the month), I spent trying to promote my book. And now I just don't see the point any more.

They say that most self-published books sell less than 100 copies and those are all to friends. So far, that is true for me. They say that the majority of self-published books aren't worth the paper they are printed on. (well, maybe what they say isn't quite so nasty, but you get the idea.) I have always believed in my writing and have had enough people-in-the-know tell me that what I put down on the page is great. But right now I am starting to doubt it all.

I can't say that I am giving up on ever getting my book out to the masses, but I am just drained. I seem to have done all that I can do and I need to get back to my other stories which have been put on hold while I try to do the whole marketing thing.
And then there's the damn employment situation. Since returning from Vietnam a little over a year ago, I have had four different, low-paying jobs, with no benefits, and now I have no job with no benefits.
In the Big Picture, I cannot complain. I have a place to live and, for now, am able to buy food, and have a few good friends. But that doesn't make for a very happy life. I want desperately to go back to my overseas life, where ever that may be, but for now, can't. There is a possibility of a really good job in that 4th corner of the world that I have yet to visit, but that would not be until November, and there is no guarantee that I actually have it. I just want a job to pay the bills for awhile, instead of spending 2 to 3 hours a day doing the job-search thing and raising my blood pressure.
I feel like I am at the end of it all and don't know what to do. I have been faced with similar situations at least once every two years for my entire adult life, so one would think that I would be used to it. And actually, I have always said that just when life seems so complex and there are no answers, something comes up out of the blue and all my questions are answered and a new path opens up. And that new road carries me forward for the next few years until that cycle comes to an end and I find myself in a new state-of-lostness. I have learned to trust that it will all work out, because it always has. But this time, for many reasons, it is much more involved and I am having the damnedest time trying to convince myself that the master plan will be revealed to me in its own good time.
I'm writing this to myself and in hopes that the powers that be might read it and send a line.